Vanity Fair is plotting a Bravo and Real Housewives exposé, according to a new report.
Insiders tell Page Six that the esteemed outlet has been working on a “deeply reported” story on the reality-focused network for months with many Real Housewives sitting down to share their experiences.
The article will cover the “highly demanding work lives” of the Real Housewives and the associated costs to their privacy, image, and mental health, including relationships with alcohol, with a source revealing that Bravo isn’t exactly worried about the upcoming piece. “We hear that, given Vanity Fair’s reputation for rigorous, wide-ranging reporting, there have been some nerves jangling at Bravo’s HQ over the piece,” reads the Page Six report. “But network insiders say execs are well used to the spotlight being pointed at the high-profile media firm and that nobody’s sweating it.”
According to the gossip outlet’s insiders, the article is expected to contain revealing facts about how the popular franchise works. “[The journalist] is really going deep into what the women go through and what’s expected of them as members of the cast and members of the ‘Bravo family,'” explained a source. “I think it’s going to explain a lot that fans don’t really see or understand about how it really works.”
The piece will also address Bravo’s various protocols and guidelines for dealing with the well-being of its talent and how effective those protocols are in actuality.
NBCUniversal updates its workplace conduct guidelines for reality shows
As previously reported on TVDeets.com, NBCUniversal has updated its workplace conduct guidelines for reality shows amid on-set scandals on various Bravo productions.
Deadline obtained a memo sent by Frances Berwick, Chairman, NBCUniversal Entertainment, to the company’s external production company partners and in it, the Bravo bigwig announced new protocols for ensuring cast and crew well-being.
Alcohol consumption on Bravo reality shows has been a big topic as of late and it was the first concern addressed by Berwick’s memo, according to Deadline.
“Building on our current protocols, we will require that you deliver an expanded alcohol-related training to the cast, crew and production team, which must include details on how production will monitor alcohol, including when consumption limits may be appropriate and when and how to intervene to maintain cast and crew safety,” she wrote.
Expanded mental health support and dealing with violence on set
NBCUniversal is also looking to update its processes around mental health and while “the company already requires all reality participants to meet with a psychologist prior to filming and are provided with psychological support during and after filming,” there now must be psychological care made available after filming that includes “health support to cast through the airing of the show and beyond, including mandatory on-set support during reunion tapings.”
In addition, Berwick also addressed violence on-set and will be implementing “more serious consequences for physical violence.”
Troublesome confidentiality clauses
According to the write up, the memo also addressed the use of confidentiality clauses, something former Real Housewives of New York City star Bethenny Frankel has called out amid her “reality reckoning” campaign. While Frankel has suggested the organization is using NDAs to keep talent from speaking out about their experience, NBCUniversal throws cold water on that idea and confirms they have never enforced the contracts in that manner.
Added Berwick, “We expect that production companies will ensure that all talent and crew agreements have confidentiality language that carves out reporting of unlawful conduct.”
The scandals keep on coming
The revelation that NBCUniversal is updating and strengthening their workplace conduct guidelines for reality shows and now this reported Vanity Fair exposé comes amid various on-set scandals at Bravo, one of the company’s most prized brands.
While Frankel continues to call out her former employer, scandals have erupted on-set of various Bravo productions including inappropriate incidents involving alcohol and sexual harassment on Below Deck Down Under and Below Deck Sailing Yacht, former Vanderpump Rules star Rachel Leviss has implied the company is allegedly complicit in revenge porn, and the network is facing allegations from various talent and crew that it has fostered an environment of “grotesque and depraved mistreatment.”
NeNe Leakes, star of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, is credited as starting the movement against Bravo with her lawsuit alleging the network fostered a racist work environment during her time on the show.
In addition, former Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Brandi Glanville is upset with Shed Media, the production company behind The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip due to allegations in the media that she inappropriately touched her co-star Caroline Manzo while filming the show in Morocco. The allegations have not been proven.
“We believe [our] standards have promoted a safer and more respectful work environment,” Berwick continued in the memo. “That said, we want to take the opportunity in collaboration with the production companies to continue to strengthen our approach. To that end, we have developed additional resources, policies and protocols that will further enhance the workplace environments on our third-party productions and will strengthen our oversight.”
According to the Page Six piece, the Vanity Fair article is expected to drop soon and with BravoCon happening at the beginning of November, the timing couldn’t be more dramatic.